‘Hellaro’ to ‘Parasite’, 10 Films to Watch out for at IFFI 2019

The festival starts from 20 November and goes on till the 24th.

Updated18 Nov 2019, 02:08 AM IST
Indian Cinema
5 min read

If you are still regretting that you had to give some promising films at Mumbai Film Festival a miss, don’t worry. IFFI Goa is here to satiate your thirst. The festival starts from 20 November and goes on till the 24th. It’s a five-day heaven for film lovers.

With over 200 films in the line-up it is of course difficult to navigate your way through. Let us help you out with a list of some of the anticipated films:

1. Hellaro

Directed by Abhishek Shah, this Gujarati movie won the National Award for the Best Feature Film this year. Set in1975, Hellaro begins with a young Manjhri being married off in a small village in the Rann of Kutch. There, she meets women shackled by the chains of patriarchy. Their only escape from the torture is when they go to fetch water from a distant waterbody. One day, a chance encounter with someone in the middle of the desert turns their world upside down. The journey of these women who are silenced into submission is sure to move hearts.

2. Iewduh

Pradip Kurbah has turned one of the liveliest markets of the North East into a story of people and communities. The film is about ordinary people with everyday stories. The Iewduh market serves as a centre point where different communities work and co-exist. People struggle so that they can tend to the ones they love and care for. Centuries later, Iewduh still boasts of a rich history in every lane and by-lane. It’s time we cherish these stories.

3. Jallikattu

For those who could not catch the film in Mumbai, IFFI is the place to head to now. Lijo Jose Pellissery’s movie is an unrelenting spectacle of frenzy and chaos. Set in a village in Idukki, a buffalo wreaks havoc after it breaks free from slaughterers. It destroys crops and creates an atmosphere of terror in the village. In the quest to catch the creature, who serves as the staple food for the residents, the ghastly nature of humans is also unravelled.

4. Mai Ghat

Ananth Mahadevan’s Marathi film questions our deeply flawed security system. In 2018, for the first time in the history of the Indian judiciary, two policemen were given the death sentence. The verdict was the result of a thirteen year long war by a mother whose son was wrongly branded a thief and tortured to death in custody. Mai Ghat explores the deep-rooted caste barriers that exist in our society through a violent act that shook the country’s conscience.

A still from <i>Mai Ghat</i>.
A still from Mai Ghat.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

5. Nirban

With Gautam Halder’s Nirban, Rakhee Gulzar returns to the big screen after a long time. The film is a sensitive take on religion and relationships. When Bijolibala meets with an accident, Hasi donates blood to her. Not just that she takes care of Bijolibala and even nurtures her back to health. Fate takes a cruel turn when Hasi is diagnosed with cancer and she passes away. Her child gets a new mother in Bijolibala. However, there’s a twist in the tale. A sudden letter reveals that Hasi was originally a Muslim who chose to life her life as a Brahmin. Bijolibala is now faced with a spiritual dilemma.

A still from <i>Nirban</i>.
A still from Nirban.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

6. Hava, Maryam, Ayesha

The film is a saga of three Afghan women who are facing different challenges in their lives. Hava, a pregnant woman with no one to care for, derives joy in talking to her unborn baby. Maryam, a TV news reporter, is fighting for a divorce but then finds out she is pregnant. Ayesha, an 18-year-old, has to help out her cousin who is pregnant from her boyfriend. All the three women have their own problems to deal with, with pregnancy as the thread connecting them. Directed by Sahraa Karimi, the film carries with it a lot of promise.

7. Alice and the Mayor

We are looking forward to this film from France. The mayor of Lyon, Paul Théraneau, is going through a tough phase. After 30 years in politics he has run out of ideas. To solve the crisis, his team decides to hire a brilliant philosopher, Alice Heimann. A dialogue ensues between Alice and the mayor, bringing to light their opinions, differences and insecurities.

8. Les Misérables

A still from Les Miserables.
A still from Les Miserables.

If you have missed this at MAMI, do check it out here. Stéphane joins the anti-crime squad in Montfermeil in the Paris suburbs, where Victor Hugo set his novel Les Miserables. Alongside his colleagues Chris and Gwada, Stéphane discovers tensions running high between gangs. When the trio finds themselves overrun during an arrest, a drone captures the encounter. The film is inspired by the 2005 Paris riots and it captures the growing bridge between the police and residents.

9. Portrait of a lady on fire

Directed by Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire will be having its Indian premiere at IFFI 2019. The film is set in 1770 and follows the story of Marianne, a painter, who is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloďse, a young woman who has just left the convent. But here’s the catch, Héloďse is a reluctant bride to be so Marianne must take all efforts to paint her secretly. She observes her day in and day out, hoping to ensure secrecy.

10. Parasite

Winner of Palme d'Or at 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Parasite is a black comedy thriller film about a family of four that is struggling to make ends meet when the son Ki-woo is recommended by his friend, a student at a prestigious university, for a well-paid tutoring job, spawning hopes of a regular income. With the weight of financial expectations on his shoulders, Ki-woo shows up for the interview and gets the job. But as his fate crosses paths with the family of Mr. Park, the owner of a global IT firm, a string of unusual events begins to unfold. Parasite is directed by Bong Joon Ho.

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Published: 17 Nov 2019, 09:43 AM IST

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